Census officials are continuing to push for people to respond to the 2020 Census as they start to phase in door-to-door visits in some states.
Arizona census workers will tentatively start training for field operations at the beginning of June and start knocking on doors to remind people in person mid-June, unless Arizona’s stay-at-home orders are extended again.
Census Bureau officials are working with federal, state and local health officials to determine when to start field operations in each state and city, the bureau said in a news release Monday. “The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance. All returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment,” the bureau said.
Field staff will be equipped with personal protective equipment before continuing field operations, the bureau said.
Field operations will tentatively start June 13 in Arizona, with employees starting their training June 1, said Alec Thomson, executive director for the Arizona Complete Count Committee. Thomson said the pandemic has made filling out the census more important than ever, as census data is used to plan for emergencies and distribute funding to states based on their population. “We want to make sure that Arizona gets its fair share of federal resources and also that we can plan for future situations like this,” he said.
In Arizona, 51.1% of households had responded to the census as of April 29. The goal is to get as many people as possible responding online before census takers start to visit non-responders’ homes.